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PhD in Special Education


The Special Education Ph.D. Program at the Arab American University is distinctive for being the first and only in Palestine, and represents a pioneering and distinguished program that contributes to the preparation of researchers, innovative leaders, as well as qualified and specialized human staffs who are cognitively, professionally, and ethically proficient to meet the needs of society efficiently in the field of special education. Also this program prepares staffs capable of contributing to bringing about positive change at the local and international levels, and disseminating high-quality knowledge, practices and research based on the latest scientific findings. The program plan consists of 54 credit hours (including 24 hours of compulsory courses, 12 hours of elective courses, and 18 hours for the dissertation). The program’s main topics are based on: teaching people with special needs in regular school and discusses contemporary issues and problems in special education such as: disabilities, learning difficulties, behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorder as well as related field applications.



  1. Provide students with an understanding of contemporary approaches in the field of special education.
  2. Enable students to incorporate best practices in child development theory including emotional, social, intellectual and language development.
  3. Provide students with an appreciation of the role of the special education teacher and leader.
  4. Enable the students to understand the process of formulating educational programs for students with disabilities.
  5. Develop the student’s ability to lead planning, implementation and review of special education programs.
  6. Instill within the students an appreciation of the legal, ethical and policy issues in special education.



  • Demonstrate an understanding of developments in contemporary special education including the use of individualized education plans, assistive technology and the need for early intervention.
  • Evaluate children with special needs and categorize intellectual, language and communication, emotional and behavioral needs and propose strategies for intervention.
  • Assess students with disabilities using both traditional methods and technology and make effective decisions to improve their educational development.
  • Design appropriate instructional plans to address individual student needs in special education.
  • Formulate a special education plan that supports social and emotional development and successful transition at every stage of a child’s education.
  • Analyze and review the progress of children with disabilities and propose changes to special education programs to continue to meet student needs.
  • Develop and exhibit an awareness of legal, ethical and social responsibilities of a special education leader and their role in working with families as well as students.


Careers of Graduates

Graduates of the Ph.D. program in special education may work in one of the following fields:

  1. Preparing distinguished specialists and teachers in the field of special education
  2. Education and research in higher education institutions.
  3. Special education school principals and educational consultants.
  4. Experts in centers specialized in special education.
  5. Employees in the Ministries of Education.